Road Trip To Fujairah from Dubai
The UAE is a fantastic place to visit, for the tall skyscrapers and modern delights that are offered alongside cultural and historical sites that inform visitors of rich Middle Eastern history. Residents and guests to the UAE can find a number of places to visit, despite the country being smaller than most; those who are looking to extend their stay in the UAE can plan a road trip across the country, making for a fun weekend getaway, and a perfect trip for the whole family.
The emirate of Dubai offers its guests a number of luxurious retreats and getaways, from their theme parks to their glittering beaches along the coastline. The ultra-modern city is the place to explore Middle Eastern heritage while still enjoying contemporary delights. From safaris and sand-boarding to taking in the city from the world’s highest observation deck, Dubai is a must-visit for those looking to explore the Middle East, providing a comfortable step forward into the Arab world. Dubai also works as an ideal spot to start the road trip, as the capital, Abu Dhabi, is one and a half hours from Dubai alone. The ideal start-point for a cross-country drive through the UAE would be from Dubai, with the first stop being Khor Fakkan.
Khor Fakkan is an exclave that belongs to Sharjah, and is situated on the east coast of the UAE. The drive from Dubai takes approximately one hour and 15 minutes by car, and is 142 kilometres from the main city. The beach on this exclave banks on the Gulf of Oman, and provides a stunning view of the Hajar mountain range. The exclave is famous for its beaches, mountains, and historical architecture, including museums, castles, and mosques, making it an ideal first spot to visit. Khor Fakkan is also a must-visit for sports enthusiasts, as the beaches offer a number of fun water activities, and families and friends can enjoy a sunny day on the sand while booking lessons on scuba diving, snorkelling, and more.
From Khor Fakkan, the next stop is Wadi Shees, a mere 20 minutes from the exclave. The wadi is nestled between the Hajar mountains, and is a lovely in-between place to visit before continuing on your journey. The road is filled with steep slopes, bends, and corners, so make sure you drive carefully. The pools at the Wadi Shees are a fun place to visit for a quick dive, especially with the larger pools; the first pool is small and is filled with drinking water, but the pools that are further away are worth visiting for a dive. Further down lies the older residential area of Shees, which is worth a visit as you can walk through the village and the older mosque. Guests can walk through the farms and enjoy the view of the mountain, while looking at the unique flora and fauna that inhabits the region.
After a stop at the wadi, the next item on the list is Madha, in Oman. This village is 25 minutes from the wadi, and is a perfect place to visit as it lies near Fujairah, and has no checkpoints or visa requirements. This spot is unique as though it is Omani territory, it is the only space of Oman that is located within the UAE. This is because this village chose to side with the Omani government in the 1930s, with the boundary being firmly decided in 1969; choosing to align with the Omani government, it was decided that Madha would come under Omani territory. This small Omani enclave is a stunning spot for a picnic, and is easily accessible by a car. This small village is best explored on foot, as it is quite small, with the main road acting as the way in and out of this enclave. The fascinating thing about Madha is Nahwa, a smaller enclave nestled in this area.
Nahwa is a fascinating place to visit as it is a rare “counter-enclave”; within Mahda (about 10 minutes from the main village) lies Nahwa, a small piece of land that comes under Sharjah’s jurisdiction, nestled in Omani territory (Madha), which is itself surrounded by the UAE. The original village was abandoned in 1999 for New Nahwa, which is built on a bend in Wadi Shees, but this space is still fun for a holistic family experience, or to get a good dose of the outdoors. Visitors are invited to trek amongst the date palm plantations and swim in the freshwater pools, and the flat terrain makes it easy to pitch a tent and camp for the night under a bright starry sky away from the city lights. The road to Nahwa, too, offers adventure as many trails are perfect for off-road driving experiences.
The next spot to visit is the Fujairah Fort, a short 26-minute drive from Madha. The fort lies within Fujairah in the UAE, and was first constructed in the 16th century, and serves as a unique reminder for the role such protection played in the region resisting colonial expansion. The fort is built atop a hill and oversees the city and the coast, and is only 2 kilometres from the coast. The fort consists of three round towers and one square tower, and was renovated and rebuilt by 2000, after one of the towers collapsed in the 1960s. The fort offers visitors a unique glimpse into the past, while also providing stunning views of the city. Visitors are also invited to visit the Fujairah Heritage village and the Fujairah Museum, both of which offer insights into the history of the emirate.
The Sadah dam is another short drive from the Fujairah Fort, and takes around half an hour to reach from the fort. The dam is a fun place to visit for families and loved ones to take in the stunning views of the clear water, while enjoying a calm and cool evening by the dam. The Sadah dam is Omani territory, but is open to visitors from the UAE. The dam is a calm place to visit to enjoy some quiet away from the hustle and bustle of popular tourist points, and is a fantastic way to have a calm ending to your long weekend on the road. The visit to the dam is worth the Instagram-style photos alone, particularly during the sunset, with the sunlight reflecting off the clear blue water.
Before heading back to Dubai, make sure you schedule a visit to the Mleiha, located in the emirate of Sharjah. Mleiha is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the Mleiha Archaeological Centre houses some of the most important archaeological discoveries unearthed in the UAE. Mleiha is home to a number of significant sites, with a number of discoveries made, from Bronze Age-era tombs to forts that were built before the Islamic era. Various artefacts, including pottery, iron tools, and skeletons have been unearthed in various archaeological digs conducted in the area. The archaeological centre first opened in 2016, and houses these discoveries that provide more information about UAE’s rich ancient history. The centre also offers a number of guided tours and activities for children and adults alike to learn more about UAE’s history. Mleiha itself is worth the visit for the number of desert-related activities that guests can take part in, alongside soaking up some history. From riding a quad bike to sand-boarding over the dunes, Mleiha’s calm clean sands offer many opportunities to enjoy the quiet desert life. Visitors are also encouraged to go on treks to Camel Rock, to enjoy an expansive, uninterrupted view of the desert. Guests are also welcome to spend a night underneath the starry sky in the desert, and the surrounding area is lovely for overnight camping trips on the sand.
The UAE, though small, offers its guests, tourists, and citizens a number of fun-filled fantastic activities and areas to explore, with events to satisfy and arouse curiosities of the pickiest traveller. From historic forts and museums that detail the country’s rich history (despite its relatively recent formation), to calm, quiet deserts to distant wadis and dams that promise adventure in the great outdoors, the UAE is chock-full of interesting places to visit, providing a very different picture to what is normally portrayed on the media. The best time for such road trips would be during long weekends or national holidays in the autumn, past the hot summer. With smooth roads and wide open spaces, the drive down the country is enjoyable at best, with each spot taking no longer than an hour and a half – making it ideal for those uncomfortable with excessively long car journeys. With international travel looking risky for the future, travelling local is the best plan to stick to. Thankfully, the UAE is home to some of the world’s most stunning road trips, making getaway journeys more affordable, more accessible, and fun for everyone involved.
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